Advice, from an idiot, for anyone thinking about getting their first tattoo

Recently, I got my first tattoo. That’s it there, at the top of the page. It’s on the inside of my left arm and I’m very happy with it. Before I got it, I did a fair bit of research via the Internet. This was something of a pain because I had to wait for the Internet to be invented first, because it was 1992 when I decided to get one.

There is a lot of advice on the net about getting and caring for tattoos, much of it excellent and most of it quite contradictory. A lot of the advice comes from tattoo parlours and tattooists, or people paid to write for a living, and really I was looking for a more basic guide with a certain slant, i.e. from the point of view of someone with little or no common sense. I needed to know answers to the questions that were too stupid to ask and in writing up some of the things I learned I thought I might bring a unique perspective to whole thing: an idiot’s. Continue reading Advice, from an idiot, for anyone thinking about getting their first tattoo


Here’s my response to the Daily Prompt for 14th January 2017: Unseen

The Spires. The Inspiration. The Green Room. The Avenue. The Moulin Rouge. The Bradbury Cub. The Gardener’s Arms. Manhattan. Xanadu. Sapphires. Dropout. These are my unseen things.

Once upon a time, Chesterfield (where I live) had more pubs and breweries than almost anywhere else in the country. This was in the days before licensing. There was one such establishment for every 33 people in the town – man, woman and child, not just adults.

Back in the 80s the rite of passage for those leaving school (and who looked old enough (or who had a sufficiently believable false ID)) was the Brampton Mile. Starting (predictably) a mile out of Chesterfield town centre in a suburb called (almost unbelievably) Brampton, the Brampton Mile was a run of around 18 pubs ending at The Bradbury Club, one of Chesterfield’s biggest nightclubs. The idea was that you started the night at the far end, had a drink in every pub and then ended the night in the Brad. This was in the days when people started drinking at 8pm on a Saturday night, and ended at 2am when the nightclubs had to close.

The Spires was my first haunt once I become old enough to no longer need a convincing fake ID. It was the base of operations for Chesterfield’s small band of football hooligans, the CBS (or YBS if you wanted to be thought of as cool and anti-establishment but they wouldn’t actually have you in the CBS and you had a 10pm curfew). It was the first place I worked behind a bar, the first bar that I DJed in, and the first bar toilet that I got carried out of, too drunk to stand.

Continue reading “Unseen”

The Secret Diary of Red Five (aged 46 3/4)

As a world-class daydreamer, I spend a lot of time pondering true callings.

As a youngster I wanted to be a pilot. Specifically, I wanted to fly Incom Corporation T-65 Starfighters. Even more specifically, I wanted the hallowed ‘Red Five’ callsign. Accepting that Star Wars wasn’t real took me a long time and I have a sneaking suspicion that on some level, I never really have.

I did actually apply to join the Royal Air Force when I left school. I sailed through the aptitude tests and failed the medical – for being underweight (I remember once around that time exasperating a shop assistant because she couldn’t find any jeans in the shop with a 26″ waist. “Have you tried Mothercare!” she snapped. The 26″ waist is long gone – can I get an Amen for those days.).

Continue reading “The Secret Diary of Red Five (aged 46 3/4)”

“In much the same spirit…”

When I was about 20 I had my first psychometric test. I was going for a job. I can’t remember what job or where. I have always been interested in psychology, and I do remember being excited about the prospect of taking a psychometric test as part of the interview process even though it was – well, let’s just say it was quite a while ago and leave at that, shall we? Continue reading “In much the same spirit…”